Earth to Politicians: Americans Support Taxing the Rich
Last month, I discussed a new poll by the Pew Center for People and the Press which found growing public support for progressive policy. This week another public opinion survey, the April Gallup Poll, lends support to the findings as they relate to wealth, inequality, and taxation.
Their headline for these Gallup poll results? "Americans More in Favor of Heavily Taxing Rich Now Than in 1939" The poll found:
* growing support for progressive taxation
* two-thirds of Americans believe wealth should be more evenly distributed
* a significant majority of Americans feel the wealthy currently pay too little in taxes
These results also complement the conclusions of DMI's own, more local survey of 101 New York City leaders, which revealed strong support for progressive taxation.
The accumulation of findings like these should continue to chip away at the conventional wisdom in politics which still insists that raising taxes -- including taxes on the wealthy -- is always unpopular and politically risky.
Nor is this just government-by-opinion poll. We already know that progressive taxation is good policy.
A recent article by economist Robert H. Frank reinforced the point: we can afford such vital public services as universal health coverage only if top income earners pay more taxes. What's more, both economic theory and empircal evidence demonstrate that trickle-down economics, the archaic argument against taxing the wealthy, is unsound and "ripe for abandonment."
Politicians take note.